How the sports betting business is taking over Africa

Recently, sporting hasn’t been just a social activity meant to entertain and bring communities together. It’s increasingly becoming an important economic engine as well. Many countries in the region are now making it possible for online casinos to launch and operate in a legally and well-regulated environment.

To the locals in the sub-Sahara, sports is no longer a mere pastime activity. These people are now enthusiastic about making money. A lot of money through online sports betting. It is estimated that 60 million Nigerians aged between 18 and 40, actively engage in betting activities. An average of 3,000 Naira leaves the pockets of these punters daily.

In South Africa, statistics from the government show that close to half the nation’s adult population take part in sports betting regularly. This trend continues to spread across East, West, Central and Southern Africa today.

The 2014 gambling outlook report by PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that the size of the gambling market in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria was projected to value at close to $37 billion by 2018. Despite Africa being still touted as a continent languishing in poverty, the region has also been marked as a fast-growing economy and one of the most promising markets for online sports betting. This has seen betting businesses in the US and Europe massively expand in Africa, positioning themselves to tap into the sports betting opportunity that stands on the brink of explosive growth in the region.

The sports betting enthusiasts in Africa have lauded the business as one that offers thousands of employment opportunities to the young population. It’s also an avenue to put quick cash in the pockets of ordinary people, a source of revenue for governments and a tremendous economic stimulus.

Why the Fast Spread?

Well, there got to be some reasons why Africa is considered a fertile ground for sports betting, right?
In this article, we unearth the fundamental drives behind the thriving gambling business across the continent.

Key reasons for the soaring growth in sports betting business on the African continent

1. Youthful population and high unemployment

Africa’s young population is the biggest in the world. Over 200 million of the continent’ populations are youths aged between 15 and 24. Out of this high number of young people remain unemployed with official unemployment rate rising to as high as 25% in some African nations. This vulnerable population continues to be an easy target for sports betting companies in the region. Betting to these people is an excellent opportunity to make money amid sports stimulation which claims the hearts of many young Africans.
With Africa’s young population snowballing, the continent is increasingly becoming a potential source of significant growth for the betting industry in Africa.

2. A high potential for addiction

The value proposition is the number one attraction when it comes to sports betting. You could spend a significantly small amount but win a life-changing sum. faThat’s the source of all the addiction. With bets as small as $1, people are winning prizes as good as $500. Looking at such a possibility for high returns all at once, it’s all in the clear why millions of Africans, poor and rich, are lured to ‘invest’ in this ‘business.’ It’s no surprise; therefore, that sports betting is posing a great addiction challenge to many Africans across the continent.

3. Strong sports fan base on the continent

Africa is a cultural continent and sports have been quite handy in fostering social cohesion.
Although football is the chief source of all the craziness, recently there has been a growing fan base for rugby and crickets in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe. European leagues have won the hearts of many Africans. But tennis, boxing, basketball, hockey, horse racing, car and motorcycle races have also received a substantial following with fans enthusiastically betting on diverse outcomes. The strong and often fanatical love of sports has made Africa one of the most promising markets for online sports business in the world.

4. Growing internet connectivity and widespread use of smartphones

The tremendously advancing mobile technology has met with the growing interest in mobile betting among Africans, and this has resulted in a spike in the launch of online betting platforms in Africa. More Africans are now happy to place bets right from their mobile phones in the comfort of their residences. Sports betting companies like Bet9ja have now partnered with major mobile phone operators in the continent to link their betting products with mobile payment services like Airtel Money and Orange Money. And with the exponential growth in internet connection, more and more people can now bet online, thus making it increasingly easier to play.

Wrapping it up

Sports betting is no doubt of substantial economic importance to the countries in the sub-Sahara and beyond. However, nearly all forms of sports betting and gambling have their drawbacks. Tight regulation should, therefore, be a critical consideration, especially to the ordinary consumers who can easily lose themselves into addictive gambling.

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